Deconstructing “Wonderful World”

Wednesday, 04 July 2012

by Silumesii Maboshe

Wonderful World

Have you seen the music video for Salma Dodia’s Wonderful World? What do you think?
If you have not already, it may be worth four of your minutes to see it first and then come back to this article. I’ll be waiting right here.


Credit where credit is due

I think this video sets a new standard for Zambian music videos. It feels like a single idea. It’s consistently lit, well shot and the editing and colour are exceptional! Our music videos have certainly come a long way from the solo artist against a gray background miming with a “cordless” microphone.

It’s a perfect example of how Zambians are “doing it”! That makes me proud.

Credit should go to the production team and Salma for the music video. I hope they get good recognition and local awards this year. I think Wonderful World has enough bang to deliver international awards as well.

Tivo Shikapwasha Films

Tivo Shikapwasha Films

B. Mauger Productions

B. Mauger Productions


Salma styled by Abigail Petit-Frere. Rob Jones styled by Poshion Bowties.

Salma styled by Abigail Petit-Frere.
Rob Jones styled by Poshion Bowties. Production Assistant Michael E. Jackson.

Rob Jones

Rob Jones

Salma

Salma

I really like that the production team was only a few people. Small teams allow a project to be focused and for decisions to be made quickly.

As Director/Editor/Cinematographer, Tivo does a herculean job of putting all the puzzle pieces together and making it feel like one package.

The styles are light, bright and free. Rob Jones makes a striking leading man. Salma seems to actually glow. It would seem she had a lot of fun on the various sets and locations.

So’ Good Entertainment should be very proud to have this as a show-piece in their portfolio.


The world would be even more wonderful if…

One of the things I like about videos is that the production team get to create a universe for the viewer. It is essentially an illusion.

Like looking at one’s reflection in a pool of perfectly still water, the slightest disturbance breaks the effect. Some elements of the video disturbed the water for me.

…Toby stayed in the water

In one of the shots a mystery man emerges from the ocean. I’ll call him Toby. Until this point Salma and Rob have been the only people we see in the video. I hope Toby got a cut for his cameo appearance.

The mystery man in the ocean.
1:01
The mystery man in the ocean.
1:03

…Salma didn’t have to hide in the foliage

The scene with the foliage.
1:13

The foliage scenes are visually noisy for me. It feels like too much is going on. Also, I think the left side of the frame could have been better lit. To top it off it looks like Salma tries to eat the purple flower.


The scene with the foliage.
1:18
The scene with the foliage.
1:35

…the guy gave the girl the flower (and not the other way around)

Call me old fashioned but I think guys should give girls flowers. If a woman gave me a flower I wouldn’t know what to do with it or myself.

You might also notice that Salma has a ring on her ring finger but Rob Jones does not.

The dinner scene.
1:28

Salma has the flower first…

The dinner scene.
1:31

… then Rob Jones has it.

…the bling scenes had our leading lady and man in them

The bling scenes.
The bling scenes.
The bling scenes.

The bling scenes.
The bling scenes.
The bling scenes.

These are gorgeous shots. Not having Salma and Rob Jones in the shots makes them feel like stock footage.


Lingering question

So’ Good Entertainment announced that the video was shot on location in the US. It stands to reason that it was shot in Miami, Florida. Some of the footage, however, looks like Bora Bora.

The question is, “Could this video have been made in Zambia?”

12th Street @ Ocean Drive.
1:58

12th Street @ Ocean Drive on Google Maps.

Can we shake it off?

In casual conversation, Zambians describe things from abroad as if being from out of the country makes a thing inherently superior. I get a whiff of that from the announcement on the So’ Good Facebook page.

My conviction is that Wonderful World would have been an even tighter production had it been produced in the country.

Salma modelling the Kutowa Designs Yali-cious line.
Salma modelling the Kutowa Designs Yali-cious line.
Salma modelling the Kutowa Designs Yali-cious line.

Design © Kutowa Designs
Photography © INZY

We have homegrown designers and stylists. Here, Salma models the Yali-cious line from Kutowa Designs.

Zambia shares ownership of the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World! How is that for living in a wonderful world?

Aerial view of the Victoria Falls by Gareth Bentley.

© Gareth Bentley

This shot of the Falls by Gareth Bentley makes the man-made Miami skyline seem like LEGO blocks. No?

I’m pretty sure Zambia has more exotic locations, people, culture, landscapes, wildlife and flora than Florida. Have a look at:

With respect to Rob Jones (by now you’ll have noticed that he is the genius behind Poshion Bowties) there are numerous men in the capital city alone who could have played the role of leading gentleman.


A New Standard

Earlier, I said Wonderful World sets a new standard for Zambian music videos. It does.

What I think will happen is that our producers will be inspired to emulate the production quality. The difference, however, will likely be that they use local elements instead. Rather than going abroad, they’ll use their travel budgets to run out and capture the Zambia that we don’t often see on screen.

It’s not just my hope. It’s already happening.

Salma.

Thank you, #Team Salma, for sharing Wonderful World with us.


All images © Salma Dodia unless mentioned otherwise.